Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Edifier du jour-I''ve started into Luke 1 today and got an interesting insight. I've probably read this chapter dozens of times over the years (well, I've been through seventeen Christmases as a believer, so at least that may) but the differences between the response of John the Baptist's dad Zechariah to the news of a promised miracle and that of Mary is something that hit me in a special way this morning. An angel tells Zechariah that he's about to be a father at an impossibly-old age. Here's verses 18-22
Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
Zechariah wanted assurance of what God would do, and the sign that he was given was to be silenced for the next nine months. Mary questioned Gabriel as well, but her question in verse 34 was "How will this be?" Note that she isn't asking for any sign, but just looking for details. We all have questions, but God wants us to walk in faith. I've got a lot of unknowns coming up in my life in the next few weeks: finding an apartment, finding a church home, teaching classes I've never taught before and (last but not least) starting a marriage 46 days from now. I've got truckloads of questions as to how they're all going to, but I'm not asking for signs. I am nervous about the future, but not as much as I "should" be, since I know God's already on the case. We can prayerfully ask questions of God, but we need to ask them in faith.

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